The Minister for External Affairs, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, who is holding the additional charge of the Finance Ministry, met the Prime Minister today and will be presenting the Vote on Account. This day we will we witnessing a Vote on Account, this kind of presentation has happened 15 times in the last 60 yrs and latest it happened was when Mr. Yaswant Singh in 2004 presented a vote on account.
Since last 5 yrs. Mr. P. Chidambaram has been presenting the Union Budget for the nation but this time the format and the presentation both will be different as Mr. Pranab Mukherjee after 25 yrs since last he presented the budget will be handling it entirely.
What is actually Vote on Account:
Vote on Account is an estimate of expenditure to be approved by the exchequer.
No changes can be made in Direct Taxes.
This is an Interim Budget as it is only exercisable till the New Govt. is formed.
Why cannot we have a full budget in Election Year?
As the elections are 4 months ahead of us there cannot be any debate on new changes suggested by the Govt., hence we cannot go to have a Full fledged budget.
Expenditure for new plans are allocated for a period and 4 months and this cannot be the trend for the entire year ahead.
Also New Govt shall decide on how to raise and expend the funds collected and so we have avote on account rather than a budget.
And lastly the New govt will never want to be burdened by the Old Govt. commitments and promises.
Whether this vote on account will be an all out election manisfesto, or will it be another stimulus package???
This still needs to be studied as the common people shall never vote on the performance of the last 4 yrs but will grade them on their performance of last 4 yrs.
Also with the economic meltdown what needs to urgently looked after is to strenghten the economy in a small way within a period of 4 months and that might work for the Govt. in case of their election manifesto.
And as for today,Prime Minister approves Interim Budget for presentation. The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has gone through the interim budget related papers and has formally signed the papers forwarding them to the President. Dr. Singh also approved the interim budget speech.